Monthly Archives: December 2013

Another LBD – the ridiculously comfortable Dixie DIY Ballet dress.

P1220414I made this dress to cheer myself up.  I am not a winter person. Lack of sunshine depresses me and I find it really difficult to get motivated. We usually try and get away to somewhere sunny for Christmas but this year it didn’t work out so I am stuck here feeling like I am wishing my life away until the days get longer and my body chemistry can re-balance.  Add to that a huge bill for essential car repairs just before Christmas and a mad couple of weeks at work and all I really want to do at the moment is curl up in front of the fire with a large gin and read serial killer stories.  I forced myself to sew because I know that doing something creative is the best way to make myself snap out of a low.  And yes, I should have probably found a more cheerful fabric, the black definitely reflects the mood I was in when I started this project.

Luckily I was right, sewing this dress made me feel a hundred times better.  It’s the Dixie DIY Ballet dress and making it has cheered me up no end for a number of reasons.

Firstly I have managed to use another piece from the stash. I got this cotton (I think?) jersey fabric from the market at the Birmingham meet up, along with pretty much everyone else who was there. It is quite lightweight and has a nice drape.

Next, it is really easy to make. The front and back are cut on the fold so there are only seven pieces to cut out including the sleeves and the neck band. I did add side seam pockets, so that added another four pieces, but, well, pockets.   And there are no fastenings.   It’s a knit so I didn’t bother finishing the seams, which also speeded things up considerably, and I used my machine because my serger is threaded with white at the moment and I didn’t fancy re-threading it. I’m afraid I also cheated and avoided pressing until the end. I was on a roll and wanted to get it finished. I have way too many unfinished projects and I was scared that if I stopped sewing I would crawl back into bed and this would become another one. In total it took about three hours including cutting time. The only slightly tricky bit is the neck band. Back in the summer I made the Dixie DIY summer Concert tee which uses the same process for the neck and it came out a puckered mess, so I was a bit cautious. I took my time with it and I think it paid off. Look, no puckering –


Okay, maybe a tiny bit but you can’t see it if you squint.

And how comfy is this dress?  It is the next best thing to wearing pyjamas.  There is absolutely nothing uncomfortable or restrictive about this dress and I love wearing it.  As an added bonus when I wore it on the school run, over leggings with my biker boots, one of the teachers complimented me on it and said I looked glamorous!  I realise she may just have been being nice but I am trying hard to ignore my inner cynic. And seriously, when I find a dress that lets me wrestle small children, move, breathe, eat and still look glamorous with toast in my hair (yes, I am that woman who always arrives late to nursery looking like she has gone ten rounds with the Tweenies and lost) then I know I am on to a winner.  I want to make it again to wear on Christmas day.  We’re going to my Mother’s so I will be regressing to the age of fifteen, eating and drinking too much and no doubt behaving in a very un-glamorous manner.  Actually I want to make six more of these, one for every day of the week and then live in them until the sun comes back. And it’s only $4.00 for the pattern. Try it, I cannot recommend it highly enough as a quick make that will lift your mood and become a wardrobe staple.  Look how twirly it is –

P1220380P1220374On that note I’m off to find some happy fabric in the stash to make another. Hopefully I’ll get another post in before Christmas, but if I don’t, Happy Christmas, Season’s Greetings and thank you for everything. You guys are the best and I hope you all have a good holiday xxx

Proof of Sewing- Scout No. 2.

P1220372It’s bloody December already!  Is it just me or is it tough getting anything achieved at this time of year?  I feel like I’m doing loads, just nothing that I really want to be doing and nothing to show for it.

I have managed some sewing though. I needed something to kick me out of the ‘Bah Humbug’ mood that I’ve been in for the last few weeks, so I dug into my stash and pulled out this red and green plaid, the leftovers from my Cat Scaring Plaid Danielle.  That dress was one of my first ever makes and I still bloody love it even though it has some pretty obvious faults, I didn’t finish any of the seams and the zip no longer works. In fact I am planning on remaking it before Christmas if I get time.

Anyway, I had just enough for another Scout Tee, this time taking into account the fact that I have put on a couple of inches on my hips.  This is what I love about being able to sew – Clothes no longer fit your shape? Just make some new ones that do.

Nothing to add about the construction really. It was a quick make and I think the red and green is starting to work its festive magic. I may even consider putting the tree up this weekend.

P1220354P1220366P1220368Must Fly!

Return of the Cat – Grainline Scout Tee Number 1.

P1220299Yay!  At some time before midnight last night I completed 50,208 words of my NaNoWriMo novel. That was basically all I did in November, apart from working and doing essential family stuff. So I apologise if none of this post makes sense, I am feeling a bit drained and sleep deprived. But Yay!

It’s been emotional and looking at the pictures here it is clear that I did a fair bit of comfort eating this month, drank way too much beer and did no exercise. I shan’t be losing any sleep over it, I like my curves and the extra layer of flubber will keep me warm this winter.  (And I wrote over 50,000 words!)  I do wish that when I put on weight it would distribute itself evenly though, instead of sitting on my chin, belly and thighs.  I also noticed that not exercising definitely has a negative effect on my mood, especially at this time of year, so this afternoon I will be dragging myself off the sofa, finding my skates and hitting the roller rink with my girls. Exercise has to be fun or I will find excuses not to do it. The gym bores me, running is okay if I set myself little challenges (and I can find a babysitter) but I absolutely love rollerskating.

Before that though I did manage some sewing.
I decided to ease myself back into it with something simple – Grainline’s Scout Woven Tee. I really wanted to join in Sown Brooklyn’s Wanett’s Scout Sewalong on Kollobora earlier this year but didn’t get round to it. However after looking on Kollobora at what everyone else managed to come up with it seemed the obvious choice for a quick, satisfying, stress free project.

I loved making this.  I think it is the ultimate quick project. I used the last of the eyelet cotton that I got at the London Meet Up, the same stuff I used for my Laurel LBD.  With hindsight I think the fabric might be a little stiff. It doesn’t hang as well as I’d like, you can see how it wrinkles at the back.

P1220306However part of that is because I didn’t allow for the fact that my hips have grown due to a month of sitting on my arse writing, eating and drinking. I will definitely make it again with more room at the hips in a fabric with a little more drape.

The neck was finished with black satin bias binding and to make it even quicker I cut it so that the scalloped edge of the fabric was at the hemlines. A couple of hours later and I had a new top.

Time to for a quick dance to one of my all time favourite tunes for celebrating, and a shameless plug for my old flatmate Len, who produced this version. Not that he needs it:

P1220291P1220295Twerking? At my age? More likely wind.

P1220301Now I’m now going to chill out and do nothing for an hour before skating. I’m knackered…